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credit: Animal Welfare Institute
In the New York Times this morning an article Wolf Haters cites that in Idaho two recent frightening developments have been made possible by the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act.
First was the hiring, by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, of a hunter to travel into federal wilderness to eliminate two wolf packs. The reason: wolves kill elk, and humans want to hunt elk. Normally the agency would just rely on hunters to kill the wolves, but because the area where these packs roam — in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness — is remote, the agency decided it would be more efficient to bring in a hired gun. A photo last week in The Idaho Statesman showed the hunter, Gus Thoreson, astride a horse, with three pack mules, looking like a modern-day Jeremiah Johnson.
Second is this weekend outside Salmon, Idaho, at a Coyote and Wolf Derby sponsored by a group called Idaho for Wildlife. A not-too-subtle poster for the event shows a wolf with its head in the cross hairs of a rifle scope and announces $2,000 in prizes to defend “our hunting heritage” against “radical animal-rights groups.”
This means that there is no area remote enough for wolves to survive away from hunting and trapping. Taking entire packs hurts the bio-diversity of the species.

It’s a sad coincidence that this weekend is also the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 28, 1973. That act sought to enshrine sound science and wise ecosystem management over heedless slaughter and vengeful predation. Idaho is showing what a mistake it was to lift the shield from wolves too soon.
Idaho's Hunting and Trapping rules are already lax enough for hunters. There's a 5 wolf bag limit and electronic calling is allowed.

Wolves are the scapegoats for the decline in the elk population throughout North America. This is a decline that has many causes beginning with global warming/climate change and loss of habitat to development, mining, and resource extraction. Should wolves be brought back to the edge of expiration in the US because they are seen as competition by elk hunters?

Other reasons for elk decline in Yellowstone Park
A number of Park elk herds have declined since a few years after wolves were reintroduced. Those people who are not capable of understanding any multi-step argument, have simply said, “Wolves eat elk. Elk numbers are down. Wolves caused the decline since nothing else in Yellowstone has changed."

The person who is even minimally observant and visits regularly knows that many things have changed since the wolves were reintroduced. There has been nearly continuous drought, which is most likely the new and adverse climate. The vital whitebark pine nuts grizzlies eat in autumn have declined greatly too because of fire, drought, and the spread of exotic whitebark pine blister rust.

A recent meta-study of 20 studies of bear diet and elk populations (from 1985 to 2012) gives evidence that the Lake trout invasion led indirectly to elk population decline as the grizzly bears began to seek out elk calves

Wolves contribute to the ecosystem that supports ungulates.
The Conservation Science Blog
This supports the hypothesis that wolves, by reducing the intensity of browsing by white-tailed deer, are reversing the biotic impoverishment of understory plant communities caused by decades of overabundant deer populations. Similar contrasts between areas of high and low wolf use were found by DPJ Kuijper and coauthors in Poland, where browsing intensity of tree saplings was lower inside wolf core areas. At a finer scale within wolf core areas, sites with more coarse-woody debris, which is an impediment to escape from wolf predation, had even lower browsing rates, supporting the conclusion that at least a portion of the effects on vegetation are behaviorally-mediated rather than solely due to lower numbers of ungulates.

Originally posted to Wildlife Endangered and Threatened on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 11:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Canadian Kossacks, Liberal G Club, and Shut Down the NRA.

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  •  Tip Jar (189+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, mollyd, dharmafarmer, flatford39, moose67, worldlotus, Infected Zebra, DRo, wendywelch, psychodrew, marina, GAS, JayRaye, Crider, JeffW, BigAlinWashSt, gooderservice, pdxteacher, Eileen B, Navy Vet Terp, Johnny the Conqueroo, zerelda, wylieSteve, Glen The Plumber, enhydra lutris, Lost and Found, NJpeach, River Rover, MarkInSanFran, KayCeSF, kharma, petulans, rodentrancher, Darwinian Detrius, cosette, IndieGuy, Miss Bianca, WakeUpNeo, Habitat Vic, Polly Syllabic, smiley7, nailbender, ichibon, slowbutsure, Mr Robert, BoiseBlue, kerflooey, TheMomCat, NoMoreLies, RonV, civil wingnut, tonyahky, Cofcos, 88kathy, sunbro, serendipityisabitch, maggiejean, Mother Mags, skybluewater, NYmom, samanthab, tapestry, peagreen, Knucklehead, Gowrie Gal, wader, eeff, SCFrog, Simplify, lissablack, dotsright, the dogs sockpuppet, emmasnacker, ramara, misshelly, carpunder, middleagedhousewife, greycat, asym, begone, Dianna, badscience, peacestpete, TheDuckManCometh, gulfgal98, quill, cosmic debris, irishwitch, chimene, OHdog, Lost Left Coaster, bsmechanic, tofumagoo, VL Baker, oldpotsmuggler, Pam from Calif, temptxan, countwebb, lineatus, carolanne, TX Scotia, MJ via Chicago, hulibow, page394, bluesheep, joe shikspack, Debs2, SuWho, peachcreek, Catesby, bbctooman, doingbusinessas, Meteor Blades, doroma, AJ in Camden, anodnhajo, expatjourno, pickandshovel, PrometheusUnbound, wordwraith, Brown Thrasher, Loonesta, justintime, Rosaura, PhilJD, marykk, Rogneid, owlbear1, shaggies2009, OjaiValleyCali, shermanesq, rebel ga, antirove, CanyonWren, cpresley, kaliope, VirginiaJeff, 6412093, JayDean, Ocelopotamus, susakinovember, Calamity Jean, ekgrulez1, blueoasis, GreyHawk, LakeSuperior, tgypsy, ColoTim, roses, riverlover, melfunction, Mathazar, northsylvania, Luma, implicate order, teabaggerssuckbalz, Patango, Burned, Marihilda, sodalis, DuzT, political mutt, blue91, mikeconwell, triv33, Leftcandid, Ahianne, Shippo1776, poliwrangler, tommymet, 4Freedom, believeindog, Onomastic, Kevskos, OldJackPine, gene s, cybersaur, BlueDragon, sostos, Silvia Nightshade, The Jester, bewild, Duncan Idaho, splashy, crose, lostinamerica, Little Bozo, Constantly Amazed, BlogDog

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 11:27:51 AM PST

  •  This is another example of how difficult (71+ / 0-)

    it is to overcome the rampant ignorance in our country.  More and more people are "buying" into the crap spread by small but verbal groups, with the assistance of a jaundiced and incompetent media.  I cry for the loss of these beautiful creatures.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 11:49:55 AM PST

    •  "The person who is even minimally observant" (27+ / 0-)

      is becoming more of a rarity than the wolves in this country.
      "people who are not capable of understanding any multi-step argument" - yep, thats us. And we're going to pay for it.
      The dodo is extinct for a reason. And we act just as dumb.

    •  It's not ignorance (42+ / 0-)

      They know damn well what they're doing.

      They honestly just don't want elk-hunting competition. It doesn't matter if the declining elk population is due to something else. They truly don't care.

      They also want to shoot the wolves because A) it's fun and B) it's become a huge "states rights" issue (I know, roll your eyes, it is pathetic). They don't want the federal gubmint messin' with their land.

      Libertarians are the strongest proponents of wolf hunting, simply because of their views on the federal government.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:40:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And wolves need Federal protection (35+ / 0-)

        wolves migrate from state to state. They won't even stay put in Yellowstone Park, so 20 of them were shot on the borders of the park, some were wearing radio collars. May the gods help the wolves who wander into Wyoming where there's no bag limit, open season, no license required.

        To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:53:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They must be pretty crap elk hunters, then? (9+ / 0-)

        And I don't hear a lot about folks eating elk, either. Unlike deer hunters, they aren't feeding themselves for the winter. Unless I'm missing something, they're killing for the sake of it. Sickos.

      •  The real reason for the wolf kills.... (19+ / 0-)

        .... is the same as the reason for the mass slaughter of wild bison which escape Yellowstone National Park. To wit: large-scale ranching operations want a predator-free environment so they can raise their cattle (and, more importantly, sheep) without worrying about any environmentally-caused reductions in their profits. Wolves eat sheep; bison, with their natural resistance to brucellosis, necessitate expensive and troublesome immunization programs in cattle herds which live in close proximity to them.

        In the eyes of these ranchers, better to eliminate the competition for biological resources than live with the original wildlife.

        Add this to the typical libertarian views in this part of the US (read: "I've got mine, F you!") and you have the disaster we observe here.

        Keep your Powder Dry and your Data Local!

        by thanatokephaloides on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 03:14:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  TBH, I don't blame the ranchers who kill wolves (5+ / 0-)

          When a wolf pack attacks a herd of cattle on a rancher's land, I think it's justified for the rancher to shoot at the wolves. The cattle are their livelihood and they have a right to protect that.

          This happens very, very rarely, though. The myth of the cattle ranchers losing everything to wolves is another right wing lie. It just doesn't happen so frequently that it's a serious problem, and even then, every occupation has its risks.

          P.S. I am not a crackpot.

          by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:04:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Plus those ranchers are often grazing their herds (10+ / 0-)

            on free open range government lands. They don't want the predators or wild horses on that land.  And.... on the rare occasion when the death of a cow or sheep can be proved to be by a wolf - the government reimburses the rancher.  Wolves are smart - they stay away from human occupied places - unlike coyotes which will come right into farm yards and kill much more livestock.

            Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

            by moose67 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:25:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ranchers have always been allowed to kill (6+ / 0-)

            predatory wolves. They are also compensated for their livestock losses. There was one rancher in a documentary who learned how to cope with wolves in a non-lethal way. He left them meat scraps and they stopped attacking his livestock. I don't know if that would work for every ranch but it worked for him.

            To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:36:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right, which is why I am saying that (6+ / 0-)

              ranchers losing their livelihood to wolves is a right wing myth. It simply doesn't happen with any frequency to merit that talking point.

              The irony, of course, is that wolves generally only attack livestock when their natural prey is scarce.

              So the hunters that want to kill wolves so that they have more elk to shoot means they are provoking more wolf attacks on animals that otherwise wouldn't be on the menu.

              P.S. I am not a crackpot.

              by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:43:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  In Canada, the wolves are being blamed for the (9+ / 0-)

                plummeting woodland caribou populations. But it's the tar sands extraction turning the boreal forests into a Hiroshima-like landscape that is killing the caribou. Talk about an international scapegoat.

                The more we encroach on their habitat, the less caribou will service. The same goes for the elk.

                In Banff, Alberta, the elk take over the town. They stroll around as if they owned the place. They really are big game. Sometimes they will take a liking to a human and follow them around. They love the golf course too.

                To thine ownself be true

                by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:04:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Salmon has a lot of problems. (8+ / 0-)

              This conversation is conflating. Salmon is not Yellowstone. The problems are different.

              The Salmon area wolf packs were the first to be introduced. They arrived before the Yellowstone wolves. At the time of their introduction, there were no govt. plans for reimbursing ranchers for wolf kill lost livestock, but the USDA soon put together a program.

              Almost as soon as the wolves were introduced, an old Salmon rancher, living on a place that had no phone, shot a young wolf in a pasture that was eating a calf it had just killed.
              When my brother, a rancher, heard about it, he said "Watch. The government is going to fuck it up. All they have to do is pay the guy with no questions asked, but they won't, and this will set things off."

              Sure as hell, that's what happened. The agents had to take the calf and the wolf back for autopsies, and messed around for months before they cut a check for about $300, the worth of the dead calf.

              That set the residents of Salmon even more against the wolves than they had been before.

              Salmon is a small town in longstanding hard times. Ranching is not huge spreads there, and ranchers were having economic problems due to low beef prices. In addition to ranching, outfitting and guides are a big business there, and many ranchers also are part-time outfitters.
              Timber was the big money maker for Salmon for years, along with some mining, but those times are long gone.
              Salmon has stabilized to around 3,000 residents, and because it's the ONLY town on the Idaho side of the Great Divide in a large area, it's the place where locals buy groceries and supplies and equipment.

              Salmon has been full of trouble for years now. Their largest school, a Jr. and Sr. High combined building, is literally falling down, and a building bond has failed 7 times in a row. The State govt. eventually took over and commanded the city to repair the building, although solid repair is not going to be possible. So far, nothing has been done.
              In addition, their county sheriff, who went from being a laughing stock to a potential danger due to his chronic alcoholism, had to resign from office, causing an expensive search for his replacement. This was an added burden.

              As was mentioned, Salmon has had to face drought, and especially forest fires. It's located at the end of a narrow valley with forested mountains on 3 sides. There has been one big fire after another there, beginning around 2000, and fire continues there.

              Last year, Salmon was so socked in with trapped smoke residents were told to stay indoors for well over a month.
              The fires have played a large part in moving the elk out, and the Great Recession stopped all the rich trophy hunters who once came out and paid well for guided hunts.

              Businesses are hurting in Salmon from a wide variety of factors, and the folks can do nothing about the drought, the fires, the recession, or the commodity prices. But since they detested the wolves from the beginning, mostly due to that first incident, they take it out on the wolves. They are something the locals can do something about.

              I am not defending the folks who sponsored the 'derby'. I simply understand their mentality. They are resentful, frustrated, and worried. The wolf hunt was officially a device to bring in some money, but there is a definite limit to the number of hunters who want to go out in this frigid time of year.
              And, ever since the hunt hit the national news, the residents have been bombarded with hateful comments. Some claim they received death threats.

              As it always is, the locals blame 'outsiders' for their troubles. In this instance, they're probably right about that.
              For them, wolves are both a threat and a pestilence they have resented ever since 1995. They feel that if others had to face their wolf problems, the others would feel the same as they, and I cannot disagree.

              Wolves are huge NIMBY creatures that are romantic as long as they are in remote central Idaho. Salmon residents are watching their town, which has been there since the 1860's, slowly withering and dying, and they can't see anything to reverse this.

              Their kids leave. Those with promise leave. For many of these folks, hanging on to what they know, and keeping to their way of life is all they have left. We have all seen the same thing in lots of other places.

              Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

              by Idaho07 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:38:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you for the interesting story which can (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ColoTim, Ahianne, tommymet, 4Freedom, Kevskos

                be repeated about many small towns in the US and Canada. I can understand that hatred of wolves is deeply embedded in the culture of the town. Still after this derby and this slaughter will the town be any better off? At this rate of kill, wolves are not a "renewable resource" - they will end up them all. Then what will the town do for entertainment?

                To thine ownself be true

                by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:53:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "killing them all." (0+ / 0-)

                  To thine ownself be true

                  by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:54:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No. Salmon will be worse off. (8+ / 0-)

                  There is nothing but more bad publicity that can come from this.
                  There was disagreement about the hunt in Salmon's residents; not all were for the hunt by any means, but as I mentioned, the town is growing increasingly desperate for outside income these days.

                  I read in the local paper that the derby entrance fees were selling better than expected, but I'm thinking a lot of that money is coming from supporters who never planned to actually join the hunt.

                  The objective was, I believe, an effort to draw folks in to fill up the motels, restaurants, and increase sales in the local stores. If that is true, I think it failed, even though hunters did come in from Montana (which is just over the mountain), and from some surrounding states.

                  It's difficult to get to Salmon. There is no commercial airport closer than 100 miles south, and Hwy. 93 is a treacherous old 2-lane at this time of year.

                  Ironically, 15 years or so ago, Salmon was hitting the radar as a great retirement spot for those who love the outdoors. Land was relatively plentiful and cheap, and it is some of the most spectacular scenery in a spectacular state.

                  But the series of forest fires changed all that, and their other problems only made the change worse.

                  Salmon needs some leadership with real imagination and forward thinking, but so far, no one has emerged. The area still has a lot going for it, but new thinking is badly needed to turn things around.

                  Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

                  by Idaho07 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 07:22:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Most of what you say is true (11+ / 0-)

                But it wasn't wolves that harmed the Salmon area so much.

                The reason it burst into flames was due to the beetles that decimated the forests. It went from being a pristine mountain to a monument of death. No color, just dead trees as far as the eye could see.

                I love the Salmon area, I really do. But like many old Idaho mountain towns, it's not ever going to be the place that it was once upon a time.

                Look at Idaho City, it has suffered the same fate. Look at Yankee Fork. Look at Banks and Cascade and McCall. Look at Mackay.

                They were all mining/logging communities back in the day. They are beautiful to visit in the spring, summer, or fall.

                But they're never going to be self-sufficient again. Not the way they once were. The residents are mostly elderly, the kids moved away for a reason. There are no opportunities in those places.

                The thing about places like Salmon is that city kids go there after college to live ruggedly for a while. The country kids leave because there is really nothing to do there.

                Like I said, a lot of what you said is true, but the economic insecurity people face in those beautiful, remote areas of Idaho are simply a fact of life that they have to accept. Mining isn't going to come back. The old rusty machines that still stand to this day remind us of that.

                It's not the wolves. It is the mistrust of government, and the wolves are but a symptom. Those residents don't realize that it's not the government that destroyed their way of life, it's the changing of the world. Advancing of technology. A growing apathy towards nature.

                I don't like it. You don't like it, but it is what it is.

                Like I said earlier today, I love visiting Tombstone, AZ. It's a cool little town but it relies on tourism. There is no other industry there.

                It was once the biggest, boomingest town in Arizona. But when the mining ended the city essentially shut down.

                The locals there blame it on a lot of things. But the truth is, there's simply no industry there. The mining is over. There's nothing left to stay there for if you're not ready to retire.

                The same is true for Salmon, and Stanley, and Silver City.....

                P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 07:04:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Don't forget climate change- it sets conditions (7+ / 0-)

                  for the beetles to wipe out the forests and for the forest fires. So much of what is happening to us can come under the heading of "climate change."

                  I live in a boom/bust town that survives on government (Victoria the capital of BC) and a university (UVic). Through it's history it was always boom and bust. It's awful to think of towns that just die.

                  To thine ownself be true

                  by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:06:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It also has tourism. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Agathena, 4Freedom

                    Just played tourist there, seeing the Bouchart gardens and took a whalewatching trip from there.  We also visited the castle/mansion on top of the hill.

                    Very pretty, in case anyone else wants to visit.

                    •  Tourism and over 200 cruise ships that bring (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ColoTim

                      at least 2,000 visitors each to town. I forgot to mention tourism, it's pretty big. Next visit, you might try to go to Mt. Tolmie, and/or Mt. Douglas to get a view. Visit University of Victoria campus, go to Uplands Park. (all of Victoria was once a Garry Oak meadow like Uplands Park). Walk along Cattle Point outside of Uplands Park. You can easily get to these places by city buses.

                      To thine ownself be true

                      by Agathena on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:35:23 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We'd have been happier to wander had it not been (0+ / 0-)

                        raining or threatening to rain much of the trip.  Every evening it absolutely poured, and sometimes that happened in the late afternoon as well.  It had been very dry up until we arrived, so you're welcome.

                •  Well said! (7+ / 0-)

                  I completely agree, and I should have gone into more detail about the forests.

                  It is indeed the dying forests that are at the root of Salmon's problems, as it is with all the other places you mentioned. They were the only old industry left, and it's all gone now.

                  Those who can leave, leave. They seek better lives elsewhere. Those who cannot leave always come to a point where they shall not leave, even if they are able.

                  Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

                  by Idaho07 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:16:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I admit I was irritated when I was in that area (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    6412093, Agathena, Ahianne, tommymet, 4Freedom

                    earlier this year. Redfish Lake used to be so quiet and relaxing, and when we stopped by there this Spring it was packed as packed could be. That's a good thing for the locals, but sucks for people like me who want to go to that area to get away from people.

                    I was also moved to tears by the dead trees. I had never seen it like that before, but I do have hope that the fires may eventually lead to new growth free from the beetles.

                    BTW, are you in the Salmon area? Just curious. I visit Ketchum quite often and GF and I usually sneak away to Salmon while we're there.

                    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                    by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:25:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I live in Idaho Falls. (0+ / 0-)

                      I have friends and acquaintances in Salmon, and I go through the town off and on a few times a year.

                      Our paper, The Post-Register, covers the Salmon area, as I.F. is the closest town of any size. Salmon residents come here to buy stuff they can't get locally and for our medical services.

                      Yup. All those forests have been burned and re-burned for over 10 years now.
                      The beetles always show up during droughty times. I think they select trees that are already in trouble, and for sure, the accelerate tree deaths tremendously.

                      Back in 1964, I worked as a tree sprayer briefly in the Teton Natl. Park. DDT was still legal at that time, and was mixed with diesel to hose down infested trees, but the attempt to control the beetles didn't work very well.

                      The job was hazardous, as the sprayers got a lot of DDT if they stuck with it. A buddy joined me, and he started getting an inflammation in one leg after 2 weeks, so we both bailed.

                      The beetles are part of the ecology. In nature's brutal way, they help the forests; the dead trees burn faster and hotter than green trees, so only the strongest pine survives. Some pine species have cones that only open and seed when the cone is scorched by fire.
                      Pine forest soil becomes very acidic. Fire ash balances the soil and promotes new growth.
                      While a fresh burn is ugly as hell, it doesn't take long for regrowth; I've watched one area in Yellowstone that was totally burned in the fires of 1988. The last time I passed through, in 2012, the forest had regenerated, and the young trees were all 20 or more feet high, except in areas where the soil was sterilized by the heat.

                      Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

                      by Idaho07 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:14:26 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I am sympathetic to some degree (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tommymet, Agathena, Kevskos, Idaho07, PhilJD

                But to some degree only.  The town depends upon federal resources that are owned by all of us - the national forests, the BLM land, etc. They feel that this is their land, but it is actually owned by all of us. The angry rejection of "outsiders" and dismissal of all the other stakeholders on this land throughout the United States doesn't promote the sort of understanding they claim they want. Maybe wolves are a NIMBY species, but people need to realize that the wilderness in Idaho is a shared "backyard" in which we all have a stake. All conservationists want the ranchers compensated.  Most conservationists are willing to see BLM grazing leases continue, despite questions about their sustainability over the long run.  What most conservationists, myself included, don't want is for people to make a claim to ownership over the federal land itself. We own a stake in that land, too. And we have a stake in ensuring that the land is maintained in a healthy condition, and that requires a viable population of top predators.

                The lifestyle they are trying to preserve is maybe 100 or 120 years old.  It's romantic, it's a hard life but a good life, and we all want rural life in the West to continue. But their kids are leaving for many reasons, not just the loss of jobs due to limits on timber or grazing concessions. I'm trying to come up with a reason why I should feel that much more empathy for them than for Mexican farmers forced off the land by NAFTA, or the highly endangered black farmers in the deep south forced off the land by banksters.  

                Their answer is to hand over federal resources - privatize the land that belongs to everyone, in effect, a subsidy. Among the many ironies is that their ancestors violently supplanted the previous population, which at the time was considered peripheral and unimportant to the main population of the United States.  Now, to be brutally honest, they are the unimportant, marginal population. They have two US senators, but that's starting to breed resentment when they support policies that harm a majority of Americans who are equally desperate and equally endangered. Another irony is their hatred for the federal government, despite the fact that their livelihoods generally depend upon federal subsidy - through tax transfers, low-cost grazing leases, agricultural support, rural federal health care clinics, etc.  

                I do have sympathy with ranchers and farmers - they should be compensated for their livestock losses. But it might be useful for them to reflect on how marginal they really are, and not be so convinced that they are somehow more American than the rest of us. They ought to treat the rest of us like the stakeholders to the land that we are, and stop shooting out all the wolves.  In return, they can expect us to be more sympathetic to the transfer of tax dollars and wealth that keeps their rural areas afloat.

                “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                by ivorybill on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 06:54:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand your feelings. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ivorybill

                  But 'all of us' takes on a different meaning when a person is born into a ranching or logging family, becomes a rancher, and lives on the same land that great-great grandfather settled, and ends up buried next to the pioneer.
                  The title may belong to the government, but the place is that guy's back yard. He knows every foot of it just like a city person knows the streets of his neighborhood.

                  Better and more intimately, in fact, because there are no streets, closed doors or electric street lights. The rancher can make his way home in the middle of a black night just as easily as a city dweller can run down to the corner store for a loaf of bread.

                  Families grow. The ancient dilemma of an expanding family living on a limited piece of ground always creates the problem of how adult children are going to make a living on an increasingly small patch of that ground that they get. A ranch that was huge for one man and his family becomes un-sustainably small after 3 generations have split it up between the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.

                  This is the exact reason places like Idaho were settled by Europeans 150 years ago.

                  That our government was willing to lease lands to these people allowed these families to avoid the conundrum of needing to own land to succeed. European nobility didn't ever willingly give up their vast land holdings, and lots of wars came from that.

                  Extraction equalled societal improvement out here ever since, and still does. The federal government doesn't sell land, and all the private lands in the Lemhi valley were bought up early on. If Salmon's ranchers and loggers were allowed to buy tracts, some would, but none can. Private land here has grown just as expensive as everywhere else; buying a privately owned ranch here is a multi-million proposition that most young adults simply can never achieve.
                  Could these ranchers make more money elsewhere? Yes, indeed. Florida raises more cattle by far than Idaho, even though a tremendous amount of land here is used for ranching. Florida only needs about 1 acre to feed a cow-calf pair. An Idaho cow needs 5 times as much land to feed herself and her calf.

                  In parts of Arizona, which the federal govt. also owns, it can take as much as 80 acres to feed the same cow.

                  There is one huge difference between an Idaho cow and a Florida cow. The Idaho cow lives on forage natural to cattle at least half the year. The Florida cow lives on feed that is man-grown and man-made. The range cow in Idaho never gets a steady diet of antibiotics, growth hormones, or stuff like chicken manure mixed into their feed. The Idaho cow is not organic, in the formal term, but is typically a very fit and naturally healthy animal.

                  It's all our land, but nobody wants or uses it much except for those who have a long committed stake in it. Leases are not getting cheaper, either. They steadily increase with each auction, and the auctions are now on a 10-year lease, not a 30 or a 50, as they were in my Grand-dad's day.

                  The romanticism comes from those who have never lived the life. For the working rancher here, the occupation is a full time, round the clock, 12 months a year job.
                  It may seem romantic to those passing through when they see a couple of cowboys pushing a herd down a dirt trail on horseback, but for the cowboys, using a horse is still the best means of getting the job done.

                  An all-terrain vehicle simply can't pick it's way through a long stretch of downfall trees like a horse (and a cow) can. Nor can they wind their way down a scree slope and then ford a river that is deep enough to swim a horse (or a cow).
                  The lifestyle survives out here because it's still the best for the job. All the kinks have been worked out long ago.

                  All the stuff above are some of the reasons why the young leave, and why the ones that stay are the way they are. A hard livelihood and self-sufficiency tends to make a person conservative.

                  Romance does play a big part of Idaho's prosperity, though. Over the past 10 years we have become the new place to move for anyone who is tired of city life, commuting, and financial and social change with all it's uncertainties.

                  Idaho is especially attractive to conservatives who feel they are out-numbered and are losing out in all corners of the country. We have that solid red reputation, and we are the Great Reboubt, the place to bunker up when TSHTF (the shit hits the fan- doomsday term.)
                  They all want the same thing; a little cabin home in the west on a bit of land, say 5 acres or so, where the water is clean and the air is clear, and where the mountains, forests and lakes are beautiful.

                  Few of them have any idea of what living off the land actually is. Fewer still bring any skills needed for the life they think they want.
                  Romance is powerful enough to pull a family out here with no prospects and no knowledge of what they're getting into. Do not discount it's power.

                  Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

                  by Idaho07 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:28:02 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I'm a rural kid (0+ / 0-)

                  so don't you "all of us" me. People like you make me sad and angry because you don't realize that we aren't as marginal as you believe. Where would stressed out city folk go to relax in the summer so that they can be productive again later? Who would bother to keep the forest healthy without those of us living in it? Who would bother to keep track of the animals or run the campgrounds or the dude ranches or the cabins or maintain the rivers or... Maybe you get that part of the point.
                  Thing is, you don't have any empathy - you have no idea what it's like to live out here, to have your entire childhood burn down around you, to worry about whether there's going to be enough people willing to come visit your town so that your family and friends can make it another year. You have no idea what it's like to be raised on land your family settled and then to be told that you don't know how to take care of it, you don't understand that when city people cry about not cutting down the pretty trees that hundreds of people are suffering the cold without clean burning firewood. You don't understand that, yes, wolves and "reintroduced" species hurt what little means we have.

                  Sure I'm not from Idaho, I'm from Arizona but I feel for them because during the Wallow fire I could see the flames over the lip of the valley that I live in, from my backyard. I was here when the wolves were reintroduced and I've seen what they've done to my grandma's cattle. I've seen what dismantling the logging industry has done to my home... and you? You just sit in your secure suburban world and judge the way I live, people like you come to my town and act like I'm dumber than gum stuck to their shoe because I'm from a small town.
                  Antiquated way of life? Not hardly. Romantic? Not f-ing close. Sympathy? Bah! Yeah... right...

                  (ps Idaho007, thank you for getting it)

                  •  You've highlighted one of the key (0+ / 0-)

                    divides in our society: the rural/urban or the rural/suburban one. But I'm not sure that it is simply "city people" who are concerned with conservation.  Having rural roots myself (though I've left them behind in order to find both work and some like-minded people), the question of rural sustainability (both economically and ecologically) is vital, I'm just not sure that those two things are as diametrically opposed as your comment makes them out to be.

                    And isn't that part of the problem, that we've always seen this divide in exactly the terms that you've expressed in your comment?

                    Thanks for including this viewpoint, and if you're wondering why so little response has been offered, know that you are commenting in a 3 day old diary, and conversations tend to pass by fairly quickly in the community.

                    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

                    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                    by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:25:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yep yep, it's fine (0+ / 0-)

                      I know I was a bit late to the party, but I had an angry. I'm sure I didn't make it clear, due to the angry, but conservation is important to us too, logging used to be the life blood of the community. Of course we wanted that to continue so of course there were efforts to make sure it was sustainable, all the logging companies were family owned for generations. Thing is, I've seen the wedge being driven in first hand - there are 3 lakes, dammed and designated as irrigation tanks, long long ago with help from my ancestors, higher up in the mountains. Well, the town near those lakes has become a tourist town with wealthy jerk faces building giant houses right on the edge of the river, cutting down huge stands of trees so that they can have a 3 story million dollar summer home... that they barely use. Those same people tried to get the lakes "protected" for "recreation". It was a huge problem, and that was when my disgust for "flat-landers" started.

                      I get that it a lot of people don't think we know what we're doing, I understand that ignorant people treat us like we're stupid because they don't know any better. I also know that the reason I don't even try with most of them is because it's pointless - if people haven't figured out the fact that those woods had been used for logging (both business and personal) for generations without spoiling by now, then it's pointless to try and make it understood. This is the nature of the divide; people that think they understand everything better because they have a degree in bull crap than the people that live in harmony with the land and take care of it so that they can continue to do so, have put up a wall with their stupid programs and red tape and crying about stupid schtuff that wouldn't make sense to them either if they were in my shoes.
                      >.< that's why this gives me an angry, that's why my comment was bitter, that's why I'm plenty fine with hating city folk. I don't mind if nobody reads this, at least I said it, because getting it out there makes me feel a little less angry.

              •  I'm too late to rec your comment but +++ (0+ / 0-)

                “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                by ban nock on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 07:03:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  They don't care, sport killers just gotta kill. (30+ / 0-)

    All the talk about respect for the wilderness and the nobility of the hunt is pure bullsh!t to cover up a basic bloodlust.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 12:20:05 PM PST

  •  Predator hunters are cowards (34+ / 0-)

    They bait bears with piles of candy.  They use dogs to chase mountain lions so they can shoot them out of a tree.  They lure coyotes with fake calls.  It's not a sport--it's target practice.

    The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

    by Scott in NAZ on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 12:44:58 PM PST

  •  I'm sure you've read this, from Aldo Leopold, 1948 (52+ / 0-)

    But it's always worth a revisit...

    [....] We were eating lunch on a high rimrock, at the foot of which a turbulent river elbowed its way. We saw what we thought was a doe fording the torrent, her breast awash in white water. When she climbed the bank toward us and shook out her tail, we realized our error: it was a wolf. A half-dozen others, evidently grown pups, sprang from the willows and all joined in a welcoming melee of wagging tails and playful maulings. What was literally a pile of wolves writhed and tumbled in the center of an open flat at the foot of our rimrock.

    In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy; how to aim a steep downhill shot is always confusing. When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable side-rocks.

    We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.

    *  *  *

    Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddlehorn. Such a mountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. In the end the starved bones of the hoped-for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers.

    Leopold, Aldo: A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There, 1948

    If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. Thomas Paine

    by WestCider on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 12:47:21 PM PST

  •  I thought this was going to be about Wolf Blitzer. (11+ / 0-)

    lol

  •  I don't watch CNN and would never write a (8+ / 0-)

    diary on such a bozo.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:02:45 PM PST

  •  I don't want to live in a world without wild (22+ / 0-)

    scary things.  Grizzlies, free rivers, wolf packs and sharks all are there to teach us to be humble.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:03:21 PM PST

  •  Speiden Island is a great example of what (8+ / 0-)

    it looks like when you have grazing animals without any predators.    It is quite startling; all of the other full-time() islands. are green and tree-covered, but Speiden is brown and rocky.    The backstory is that exotic African critters were imported in the 70's for a big-game hunting camp, but public outcry forced it to close.    The island was sold, but the critters remained.

    I keep saying that we need to sneak a couple of Cougar onto the island some night, but nobody wants to help me out with this project.  

    () Some are underwater at high tide.

    •  Cougars are good swimmers aren't they? (7+ / 0-)

      Too bad you can't lead the way for them since they don't trust us anymore.

      I was walking a trail in cougar country in Sooke BC and I heard a slight crunching in the undergrowth beside the trail. I was pretty sure it was a cougar so I walked backwards for a while since I had heard they only attack from behind. Later when I caught up to my daughter, she said she actually saw a cougar beside the trail.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 02:06:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  they are there for themselves... (16+ / 0-)

    ...not to "teach us" anything.  Which is not to say we have nothing to learn from wild scary things - but the sooner we, as a species, are able to assimilate the lesson that other predators, other things have as much inherent right to existence as us, the better off this whole weary old world will be.

    As for accordions, I hope, wherever he is, he has something better to do with his time. - Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

    by Miss Bianca on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:18:20 PM PST

  •  Sadistic bastards. (9+ / 0-)

    Killing keystone species so corporations can go about their welfare ranching unimpeded is just bullshit.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:23:05 PM PST

  •  The first wolf hunt in MI was largely unsuccessful (9+ / 0-)

    There were 43 authorized kills but only 21 were taken. I don't know whether that's good or not. Shouldn't have been any, but I guess it's good that they didn't take as many as they were allowed.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/...

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:53:26 PM PST

    •  Reports on the Michigan hunt are saying... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, Agathena, dougymi

      ... that the extreme cold snap caused the low hunt count but I heard a couple hunters on the local NPR station saying that the wolves quickly changed their behavior after the first few days of the hunt and couldn't be found.
      Either way, I guess 21 is better than 43 but, to me, one would have been too many.

      I can see Canada from my house. No, really, I can.

      by DuzT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 06:31:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yah... I heard them blaming the cold, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DuzT

        but I don't buy it.  It's damn hard to hunt wolf when you can't bait.  There aren't a lot of them and there is a lot of territory, plus they're one of the smartest animals in the state. Probably smarter than most republicans.

        Couldn't agree more with your last sentence.  I see no reason to hunt predators. No reason at all. If they're attacking your pets, cattle or sheep, there ought to be a way to manage that with some kind of special permit or procedure.  There's no reason for a hunt with as few of the animals as there are in this state.

        A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

        by dougymi on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 12:29:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "First the gubmint stopped us from killin' Injuns, (8+ / 0-)

    then it stopped us from lynchin' Nigras, now they tryin' to keep us from killin' goddam WOLVES! Don't they know they're interferin' with the God-given American right to hunt and kill things we don't like? Damn gubmint!"
    Apparently a lot of people in this country believe this (and worship "Duck Dynasty").
    You can't spell "Idaho" without "idiot".

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 02:04:12 PM PST

  •  thanks for this diary (10+ / 0-)

    I saw the editorial and wanted to write something but this issue is too personal for me.  That picture is heartbreaking and killing the wolves for the 'fun of it' makes me embarrassed to be a human.

    sometimes the dragon wins

    by kathy in ga on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 02:34:05 PM PST

  •  I'm sitting here in wolf country (12+ / 0-)

    Right now and nothing I can say will convince anyone of anything other than wolf=bad.

    I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 02:42:51 PM PST

  •  Agathena (13+ / 0-)

    I`m sorry you have to write such diaries.
    The last time I posted a story about wolf killers in a response to a comment you made, I was threatened by another poster.
    He said he`d try & find out who I was so he could have me arrested & charged for all sorts of laws I supposedly broke, both federal & international.
    I was advocating for the wolves & against their slaughter, so that person must have been deranged.
    If you want more info on that, send me a message.
    You may not know what happened, since that moron snuck in a few days after our conversation & posted.

    Great diary but I`m at a loss as to why there should be a need for them on the subject of these noble animals.
    And to use high powered rifles equipped with silencers so as not to alert the rest of the pack to get in more kills is really sick.
    I wonder if they go on shooting one after another with that look on their face that describes what school massacrers have been described as having.
    I mean, one would have to be deranged to get a thrill of seeing a pink mist & the bodily jerk of an animal that has been shot, & another, & another, & another, & another, till the pack, their singular society, has been eliminated.

    I`m already against the next war.

    by Knucklehead on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 03:22:06 PM PST

    •  I was called naive by a suppposed environmental (9+ / 0-)

      consultant here when I supported wolves as an ecosystem   stability agent calling any research like that on Yellowstone wolf reintroduction as fabulation.

      Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

      by OHdog on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 03:37:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OHdog (5+ / 0-)

        Who`ll be the naif when the truth is shown after a wolf-less planet degrades even more than it is, with no wolves to blame.
        What a shame coming from a person with, I suppose, a degree in environmental husbandry.
        Just because one may have a degree does not mean they are not working for a greedy corporation whose bottom line is selling more bullets or renting hunting lodges for elk hunters, or curtailing any advance on land "owned" by big cattle business.

        I`m already against the next war.

        by Knucklehead on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 03:57:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm really sorry that happened Knucklehead (5+ / 0-)

      I hope you reported it.

      I forgot to mention the silencers. The wolf hunters like to get the whole pack. I've seen photographs of pack killings. It's seen as some kind of accomplishment but it's very bad for the wolf populations.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:44:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agathena (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena, Ahianne, 4Freedom

        Don`t worry about me. And don`t be sorry for something you didn`t do.
        Yes I did report him for threatening to out me  & he just showed up  below with some stupid lame story.
        If an idiot thinks what one says is untrue, would the same idiot threaten one with outing them.

        I`m already against the next war.

        by Knucklehead on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:45:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I decided your story was probably just keyboard (0+ / 0-)

      comando stuff. Canadian bar keeps probably don't let people from certain states steal stuff too easily. It was too fantastical.

      The trafficking internationally in endangered species, lying to customs, etc is serious business though. http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      Probably be a good idea to think up a story that is slightly less criminal next time.

      I take wildlife crimes seriously. There are very strict rules about everything to do with wildlife and hunting and trapping. When I hear of any poacher I report them. Similarly with all wildlife crime.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:03:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ban nock (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena, DuzT, tommymet, 4Freedom

        What I related was the absolute truth .
        The only keyboard commando was you, saying you will try & find out who I am (absolutely against site rules)to turn me in to authorities for crimes you judged me to have committed.
        The best thing you could do is not respond to any comments I make & mind your own business as to who I am & what I do.
        If you try & insult me again as you did by calling me a "keyboard commando" that really really hurt my widdle feelings, or threaten to disclose my identity again, you will be reported... again.
        Who the hell are you to decide my story was too fantastical, the hick you describe your name as, in your profile?
        Back away slowly & don`t bother me again.

        I`m already against the next war.

        by Knucklehead on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:27:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can almost guess who that person was, Knuckle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silvia Nightshade

      and i'm quite certain them and their little mindless cronies on here are stalking this diary right now looking for even the slightest comment speaking against gunz in any way whatsoever.
         Did you report this 'person' to the so called site moderators?Curious, what did the so called site moderators do, anything?
         I have absolute faith that they did nothing and will do nothing. Can't upset those delicate sensitivities...

      Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

      by teabaggerssuckbalz on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:20:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  teabaggerssuckbalz (0+ / 0-)

        Yes I reported the threats from that person.
        It does not seem to me that anything was done though I could be wrong.
        But since he is back commenting right above you, it would lend one to believe he did not heed any warning, or no warning was issued.
        Threatening to out someone on this site is cause for instant banning according to site rules.
        Here`s the direct quote, tell me if that`s not a threat to out me.

        Threat

        I`m already against the next war.

        by Knucklehead on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:37:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Where to Start? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    Lawrence Downes titled his piece "Wolf Haters" - which is rather - hmmmm - shall we say indicative of a certain fixed point of view.  Furthermore, in his first paragraph he says:

    In states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, an age-old antipathy to wolves flourishes, unchecked.
     

    Yikes!  Were I to say anything remotely as blatant or prejudiced about New Yorkers or Chicagoans I would be instantly castigated.  And deservedly so.

    Although Mr. Downes is certainly entitled to his opinion, he does not appear to have any significant credentials in the field.  He went to Fordham and the University of Missouri in journalism - then worked in Chicago and New York.  Nor did he choose to use any pertinent scientific information in his column.  For example - from the US Fish & Wildlife Service or state wildlife agencies.

    The basic underlying issue is that wolf populations have risen dramatically in the past 20 years - well beyond initial estimates.  Wolf packs have become established in all Zone I and most Zone II habitats and are being forced into Zone III.  Management goals were clearly outlined in a series of compromises reached in the 1987 Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Plan and in subsequent management decisions.

    http://www.fws.gov/...

  •  From Idaho Fish & Game Dept (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    Cow Calf Rations Since 1985

     photo IdahoElkCowCalf1_zps2baf1073.png

     photo IdahoElkCowCalf2_zpsff12e1f2.png

     photo IdahoElkCowCalf3_zpsd7f77ffe.png

     photo IdahoElkCowCalf4_zps3adc88ef.png

  •  Excess Fecundity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    All species have excess fecundity.
    What do you do when wolf populations reach and/or exceed the carrying capacity of their respective ecosystems?

    •  Wolves actually don't have that problem the way (12+ / 0-)

      other animals, especially other canine animals have. For one, they mate for life and only produce about one litter per year. That litter is often thinned thanks to the natural predators of wolf pups.

      They're not like other canine species that often reproduce at a much higher rate.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:50:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, They Do - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly

        Wolf populations in Yellowstone rose quickly following the release program in 1995, but stabilized by the early 2000s at around 100 individuals.  There have been 10 or 11 packs with pack size averaging 10 wolves.  Seasonal survival of pups has varied between 18 and 38, but a survival rate of 25 is a minimum average.  If wolves have a lifespan of 6 to 8 years in the wild, that suggests that there is an excess fecundity of 75% over a seven year cycle.  These additional wolves will be forced to seek additional ranges; yet, Zone I and Zone II habitats are largely occupied.  Thus wolves spread into agricultural areas with the certainty of human-wolf conflict.

        http://www.ypf.org/...

        •  Wolves are increasingly avoiding human contact (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Patango, 4Freedom

          Suddenly they are taken off the Endangered Species list and hundreds of them are being killed at once. You don't think that has had a profound affect on the wolf population. They become more cautious and less likely to wander into open spaces. I just can't see them walking into the gun sights of farmers and ranchers after what's been happening to them.

          To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:00:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This Has Nothing to Do with Fecundity - (0+ / 0-)

            Please, present your position on the reproductive patterns of wolves in the Northern Rockies region.  With litter sizes of between 4 and 6 pups each year - with 1-year survival rates averaging 50% - excess population for the ecosystem is a reality with a short number of years.

            How do you propose dealing with increasing wolf populations - regardless of what you believe the appropriate management level should be?  Whether it be 800, 1200, 1600 or even 3200 - sooner or later that number will be reached and exceeded.

            What then?

            •  I was responding to your comment that wolves (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom

              will "spread into agricultural areas with the certainty of human-wolf conflict."

              Between global warming, trophy hunting and shrinking habitat, wolf overpopulation is not going to be a problem. I have no idea how many wolves the Northern Rockies could ideally support. But wolves do migrate when their area becomes overcrowded.

              To thine ownself be true

              by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 10:22:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Respective ecosystems? They once roamed the (7+ / 0-)

      entire continent. We need to make wildlife corridors to allow wolves to migrate instead of isolating them in certain areas. Yellowstone wolves are being isolated by the wolf management in surrounding states. It threatens their biodiversity since there are less than 100 wolves left in Yellowstone Park.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:57:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  by johnnygunn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos
      What do you do when wolf populations reach and/or exceed the carrying capacity of their respective ecosystems?
      Send screechers like you back to the city so you will not be so frightened and scared of an animal you will never lay eyes on  

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:14:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This Is an Example of the Worst of DKos (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, buddabelly

        Although my view on this issue may not be the majority view, I have maintained a respectful dialogue.  You, on the other hand, have just used a nasty personal attack to dismiss me.

        In fact, I live in rural Wyoming.  I have seen wolves.  I hike and camp in remote backcountry areas with little concern about wolves.  If there is ignorance and inexperience, I suggest you get a mirror.

        •  I'll apologize for the other poster (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silvia Nightshade

          Because that was out of line.  Just short of HR-worthy, but still way out of line.  

          Your comments about wolves relatively quickly reproducing to the point of carrying capacity are correct. As a conservationist who wants a healthy ecosystem with sufficient predators, I could support a limited wolf hunt such as the ones in the upper midwest, rather than an all-out slaughter like in the Rocky Mountain states.  But there's a lot more going on here.

          First, we should all be honest that the conversation about wildlife management is really about producing a surplus of elk. Wolves are human's only really effective competitor for elk. Sure, mountain lions take a few, but because wolves are such efficient predators, a healthy wolf population means a big drop in the tonnage of elk meat that can be "harvested" by people. Hunters see wolves as reducing their take, and that pisses them off. There are ways to increase the elk population other than shooting out all the wolves - limiting grazing leases for example, and creating more corridors between higher and lower elevation areas. Those measures also have an economic cost, and ranchers will oppose them. But we shouldn't talk about wolves destroying the ecological balance, but rather, how many tons of elk meat can we afford to raise on federal land for hunters, versus how many wolves we as a nation want to permit to exist. Residents of Idaho want a federal subsidy for elk meat. A big federal subsidy. That's their position, but we should all be clear that what we are debating is who gets to eat the elk produced on land that we all own.

          Second, we need to be clear about the politics. As I said in another comment above, it is ironic that so many of us in the rest of the US increasingly see rural Idaho communities as marginal, economically unimportant, besieged and potentially violent - essentially, similar to the perception of the Shoshone and Nez Perce killed off by the ancestors of today's rural Idaho population. Because of the political dynamics of America today, a white rural Idaho conservative has the luxury of seeing himself as the true American, the rightful owner of federal land that, in actual fact, is equally owned by some Puerto Rican kid in New York City. But it's federal land. The Bitterroot Range, the Wind River Range, these wildernesses belong to me equally as anyone else in this nation. And I do get a say on how the land is used. Someday the political power will be on the other foot. It would make sense for the ranchers to try a little harder to make common cause with those of us in the cities who might have spent our youth in the wilderness, or who value the land just as they do. They may need us someday, once demographics shift and Puerto Rico or Guam are states, and Idaho no longer punches so far above its weight politically on a national level.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:28:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the animals on the land belong to the people of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fall line

            Idaho, not those in the US. All wildlife in each state is held in trust for the use of the people of the state. Not other states. Exceptions are for migratory birds and any Parks, Refuges, etc. though many Parks and Refuges are sensibly looking to states to manage wildlife as they are better at it.

            The hunters of Idaho are the ones who pay for the wolves, elk, and all other wildlife. Without the dollars of hunters it would be open season on everything all the time and there'd be no wolves or elk.

            So actually maybe those who want wolves should pay for them. An elk yields about $1500 in license fees. (all the licenses for the 4 out of 5 that don't get harvested) a wolf eats between 7 and twenty elk between November and March. Potentially that's tens of thousands of dollars per wolf per year.

            I'd like to hear a solution that doesn't involve reduced revenue for Fish and Game or reduced food for people on lets face it, modest incomes, to eat.

            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:39:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Two things (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Silvia Nightshade, OldJackPine

              First, I don't mind dramatically increasing federal funding for conservation - to pay for much of what hunting fees pay for now. There are bigger budget discussions that need to take place - reduce military spending, increase spending in other areas, including conservation. I realize this won't happen over the short term.  However, hunting license fees are of much more importance where I live, in a state with virtually no federal land and very little state land.  No hunters in Illinois = dramatic decrease in wildlife habitat.  That's true to a much lesser degree in the Mountain West.

              Second, my argument is constructed around maintaining the health of the land, not who owns a wolf carcass.  Top predators = ecosystem heterogeneity, increase in plant diversity, healthy land, even over time reduction in forest fires (areas with healthy predator populations tend to have more open spaces intersperced with dense forested areas, i.e. natural fire breaks). If the wolves are gone on federal land, if federal land is managed with the sole intent of turning Idaho into a federal elk farm for meat production, then that is an issue for me regardless of who ownes the elk, because it diminishes the value of federal land that, yes, I also own.  

              Subsistence hunting?  That's a red herring.  I'm not saying that people shouldn't be allowed to hunt elk. Nobody is going to prohibit elk hunting. It's easy to make this into a black and white issue, and I can play that game too:  Elk hunters will not tolerate competition and want wolves extinct.  Fair? Not really.  Some elk hunters do not want wolves hunted to extinction.  Others do, just the same as some conservationists don't accept subsistence hunting and others do.

              I have had this state's rights conversation with you before - and it is true that states own wildlife. As a point of law, that's accurate.  As a debating point, you might really want to consider your audience.  It seems to me that states once had the right to regulate ownership over human beings, too. State's Rights arguments, while they may reflect current law, are not very useful for generating genuine support for specific policies, especially when they impact federal lands that are owned by all of us.  Using a state's rights argument essentially tells the rest of us "butt out, this is none of your business".  That hasn't worked very well, historically, for a host of issues - ownership of humans (Civil War), forced prostitution (Mann Act), child protection, guidelines on animal experimentation, as well as all sorts of federal environmental laws regulating wetlands, endangered species, pesticide use, etc.

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:02:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  two things (0+ / 0-)

              First, I don't mind dramatically increasing federal funding for conservation - to pay for much of what hunting fees pay for now. There are bigger budget discussions that need to take place - reduce military spending, increase spending in other areas, including conservation. I realize this won't happen over the short term.  However, hunting license fees are of much more importance where I live, in a state with virtually no federal land and very little state land.  No hunters in Illinois = dramatic decrease in wildlife habitat.  That's true to a much lesser degree in the Mountain West.

              Second, my argument is constructed around maintaining the health of the land, not who owns a wolf carcass.  Top predators = ecosystem heterogeneity, increase in plant diversity, healthy land, even over time reduction in forest fires (areas with healthy predator populations tend to have more open spaces intersperced with dense forested areas, i.e. natural fire breaks). If the wolves are gone on federal land, if federal land is managed with the sole intent of turning Idaho into a federal elk farm for meat production, then that is an issue for me regardless of who ownes the elk, because it diminishes the value of federal land that, yes, I also own.  

              Subsistence hunting?  That's a red herring.  I'm not saying that people shouldn't be allowed to hunt elk. Nobody is going to prohibit elk hunting. It's easy to make this into a black and white issue, and I can play that game too:  Elk hunters will not tolerate competition and want wolves extinct.  Fair? Not really.  Some elk hunters do not want wolves hunted to extinction.  Others do, just the same as some conservationists don't accept subsistence hunting and others do.

              I have had this state's rights conversation with you before - and it is true that states own wildlife. As a point of law, that's accurate.  As a debating point, you might really want to consider your audience.  It seems to me that states once had the right to regulate ownership over human beings, too. State's Rights arguments, while they may reflect current law, are not very useful for generating genuine support for specific policies, especially when they impact federal lands that are owned by all of us.  Using a state's rights argument essentially tells the rest of us "butt out, this is none of your business".  That hasn't worked very well, historically, for a host of issues - ownership of humans (Civil War), forced prostitution (Mann Act), child protection, guidelines on animal experimentation, as well as all sorts of federal environmental laws regulating wetlands, endangered species, pesticide use, etc.

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:02:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  ban nok says (0+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              Hidden by:
              Kasoru
              the animals on the land belong to the people of Idaho
              That pretty much sums up your types misunderstanding of planet earth , that is right up there with whining about ALMOST BEING HR'ABLE LOL
              The hunters of Idaho are the ones who pay for the wolves, elk, and all other wildlife
              Screw U , you as a shriveled up temporary dust and bone being do not own shit , and never will

              Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

              by Patango on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:25:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks IB (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill, buddabelly

            You know, I agree that the hunt should not have taken place in designated wilderness.  And "wilderness" means different things.  There are support cabins in remote areas for forest service personnel as well as university researchers.  When Idaho Game & Fish requested the research cabin, the University of Idaho declined - saying that it was counter to its mission.  The USFS could have and should have done likewise - - however, like all things it is a highly political process.

            I hear what you are saying about reduced hunt.  There is little argument that wolves have a significant impact on the number of elk in areas where they have been restored.  Elk are up to 75% of the wolf diet.  In Yellowstone, the reduction in elk has resulted in improved riparian cover in areas that had been badly overgrazed.

            But - - wolves and hunters target different individuals.  Hunters shoot adults - the best trophy bulls are some of the oldest.  Wolves, on the other hand, target calves to a significant degree.  Given the relatively limited range of the Northern Rockies recovery area - still larger than all of New England - overpopulation of wolves will result in a near-complete collapse of elk populations.

            It is fantasy to expect to find an untouched wilderness or wolves living in such an environment in the continental United States.  Even Yellowstone - which may seem pristine to the casual visitor - is highly managed.  And that has been the crux of my counter-argument - - what do you do when wolf numbers reach and exceed the carrying capacity?

            It seems that Yellowstone NP has a capacity to support slightly more than 100 wolves.  After twenty years, there has been a clear delineation of territories for 10 or 11 packs.  Pack size usually varies between 8 and 12 individuals.  Whether instances of parvovirus and mange are related to numbers approaching 150 wolves is debated, but inter-pack attacks are connected to higher numbers.

            There is territory outside of Yellowstone that is appropriate wolf habitat; however, the process that has taken place in the park itself is quickly replicated.  It's just that park documentation is the best out there.  Once wolves reach the limit of appropriate habitat - what then?  What of the original political agreements which were, in fact, compromises by all parties?  Family ranchers are some of the best land stewards out there, but they are increasingly being replaced by billionaire dudes - like Ted Turner.  Who should bear the cost?

            From what you have posted, I believe that we agree on far more than we disagree.

            •  We probably do agree on a lot (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnnygunn, OldJackPine

              Specifically: (1)  No objection to elk hunting. (2) No objection to limited control of wolf populations

              It is really interesting to think about the different selective pressures applied to elk populations by wolves and humans.  Wolves eat elk calves, and therefore have a greater impact on elk populations. Humans shoot the biggest bucks, and therefore select for smaller elk.  The way wolves hunt tends to create more heterogenous habitat (i.e. elk avoid certain areas).  The way humans hunt does not. (i.e. hunting in specific legal jurisdictions more than specific local landscape features). Wolves tend to supress coyotes, which increases foxes, which reduces rodents, which prevents elk disease.  Get rid of predators, and things get out of balance - more tick-borne disease.

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:14:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I disagree that humans shoot the biggest bull (0+ / 0-)

                humans shoot the first legal elk they can. The odds of not having a second chance for years is too great. Talk to anyone that hunts elk.

                Studies show wolves target different segments of the elk herd depending on season. One constant is either calves or heavily pregnant cows causing a severe decline in calf recruitment.

                There is no balance of nature.

                Almost all the large mammals are gone, including almost all the large predators. Yet the land survives just fine without them. Haven't seen a scimitar cat all year, nor a short faced bear or saber toothed.

                “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                by ban nock on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 06:30:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But the land doesn't survive "just fine" (0+ / 0-)

                  I live in Illinois, and the loss of all major predators really does have a major effect on biodiversity.  The idea that there's "no balance of nature", whatever that means, is hardly an excuse for a depleted forest understory of the few plants that deer don't eat.

                  It's also no excuse for eliminating those species that do remain. I think that you have some sort of instinctual reaction against "nature worshipers" and tend to simplify those who want healthy predator populations and biodiversity.  My desire for maintaining predators in an ecosytem is partially for the health of the land, but also for asthetics... which are as valid for me, as for you.  You hunt because of the excitement and you claim to love the animals you hunt. That's an aesthetic choice.  I could come back at you with the same logic and say that there's no balance of nature, so why not eliminate elk?  They carry Lyme disease, and they are ugly, and anyway, we should be using that land for cattle. People matter more than animals, so why are we worried about elk?  Since people matter more, let's go ahead and allow clearcutting on all federal land. After all, there's no balance of nature.  Nature is dynamic, and there's still nature in Afghanistan in areas that were deforested in antiquity.  So let's go ahead clearcut the forests.  Sound like a good idea?

                  “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                  by ivorybill on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 10:07:51 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  oh, and half the elk shot are cows if management (0+ / 0-)

                is going right.

                “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                by ban nock on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 06:30:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Hunters are scum. Sadistic scum. (0+ / 0-)
    •  No, they're not (13+ / 0-)

      Wolf hunters are, but hunters, in general, are not.

      Consider the fact that most of our greenhouses gasses come from factory farms. Wouldn't you want to encourage people to procure their own meat?

      One elk feeds a family for nearly an entire winter. Compare that to how many times the same family would have to support factory farms instead for the same length of time.

      Most hunters are ethical and care about the environment.

      Wolf hunters? Well, I'll grant you that. They are assholes.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:46:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wolf hunters aren't either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly

        they are a large group of people. Thousands. All different colors, all different ages and politics. Calling an entire group of people bad names is kind of silly. Like Duck Dynasty silly.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:40:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This applies, as it does to other categories... (14+ / 0-)

      ...of people, to a small percentage. I've met a few. But your scattergun attack against all hunters, many of whom still hunt to put food on their tables, is disgusting.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:51:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no dietary need to eat meat. (0+ / 0-)

        So no one needs to hunt to put it on their tables. In the end, the sport of killing another animal, for whatever reason, is based on sadism. The thrill of the kill is part of it and it is disgusting as well as disgusting for you to try to deny it.

        Moreover, as people who defend hunters so quickly forget, the existence of hunting means the existence of firearms in the hands of poorly trained, poorly supervised and all-to-often psychopathic people.

        It isn't possible to have private gun ownership without private gun massacres.

        What is disgusting, MB, is choosing to support an unnecessary, recreational activity—a hobby—that has as one of its side effects a room full of dismembered five-year olds and their teachers every now and then.

        The United States, home to some of the most aggressive and entitled people in the world, with the poorest mental health infrastructure and the most Dickensian working conditions in the developed world, is also home to people who fetishize guns and mythologize hunting.

    •  We actually need hunters, since the deer (8+ / 0-)

      population is exploding where I live. Deer ate every green thing in reach on one of the islands in Haro Strait, BC so hunters were brought in to cull the herd.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:42:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we also need hunters since the wolf (0+ / 0-)

        population is exploding in Idaho. So hunters are brought in to cull the herd.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:53:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No dead wolves so far. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, BoiseBlue, Patango, 4Freedom

    Wolf hunting in the Salmon area is far from easy. The terrain is heavily forested and is all straight up and straight down. Forest fires have denuded a lot of the wolf territory, making it easier for the wolves to sense the hunters.

    While a professional hunter can be successful, because they have the time to chase a pack and learn their ways and habits, a typical hunter is always going to have a very hard time of it.

    The hunts that have bagged a wolf have always had a large element of luck in all of them. Elk hunters often buy a wolf tag due to that; where the elk herds are, the wolves will be around, but they have been hunted for some time now, and are very savvy. Wolf tags are purchased in the off chance a hunter will run into one.

    So far, this hunt has failed. No wolves have been killed as of today, and the hunt ends Sunday or Monday.
    The mountains around Salmon are fogged in right now, and the temps are around 10º or less up there, even though the town's temps are higher. Salmon lies in a hole surrounded by mountains.

    On top of it all, the conditions are ripe for avalanches; 2 men died last week, and the hunt can only go so far in with snowmobiles. I suspect that by tomorrow, only a handful of hunters will be left.

    Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

    by Idaho07 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:54:41 PM PST

  •  Couldn't finish the diary but rec'd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, Patango, 4Freedom

    It would have probably driven me into a depressed funk that might have been hard to crawl out of.

    Some people are just fucked in the head.

    Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies, We were roaring drunk on petroleum -Kurt Vonnegut

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 07:17:34 PM PST

  •  Fewer wolves means more ticks. Which may be (10+ / 0-)

    bad news for elks.  It's amazing how interconnected everything is.  Unfortunately, it's hard to get people to appreciate the consequences of disrupting that interconnectedness.

    The abbreviated version of the articles I linked to:  1. Wolves are natural enemies of the coyote.  When wolves decrease, coyotes increase.  2. Coyotes are natural enemies of the fox. When coyotes increase, foxes decrease.  3.  Foxes consume copious amounts of mice.  When foxes decrease, mice increase.  4. Baby ticks need mice as their first host.  (Deer won't do -- they're too big for tick babies to properly gain access.)  When the mice increase, the ticks increase.  And when ticks increase, disease spreads to humans and big game ... such as elk.

    I'm a Christian, therefore I'm a liberal.

    by VirginiaJeff on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:22:29 PM PST

    •  Very good points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, VirginiaJeff

      Top predators like wolves have an outside impact on maintaining the diversity of plants - by creating much more heterogenous landscapes over time.  

      But the dynamics of predators, prey, and parasites is way interesting and I suspect very important.  I live in Illinois, and wish there was a resident population of mountain lions to keep the deer at bay.  We have way too many coyotes, which are our current top predator, too few foxes, too many deer and way too many mice and ticks. Some want to turn Idaho into Illinois.  Big mistake.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:39:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was perusing the local Craigslist (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, Patango, DuzT, Ahianne, 4Freedom

    this week and found someone local who was looking for properties to hunt coyotes and foxes. Only at night, no doubt with sound suppression, night vision, etc. That creeped me out.

    Coyote numbers are increasing here, perception that fox numbers are down (I don't hear that many in the woods at night as I used to), turkey numbers are down, deer numbers seem stable and way too high. Undergrowth in the woods is gone, I have pix over 30 years to prove that one. Deer browse...

    It is frightening to hear coyotes within feet of my house. My dog seems to have learned howling from them. But I don't want someone culling off a predator. Does anybody eat coyote? Or is it all for pelts? Or sport? I will not contact that Craigslist person.

    I allow two deer hunters on my 22 acres of trees. One deer was taken AFAIK, out in two pieces, because dogs or coyotes got to the deer before the hunter.

    In Canada, at my cottage, coyotes, minks, fox and fishers. I don't let my dog out after dark unless I am with him. There are predators everywhere, and not all are human. There were rumors of a Satanic cult killing cats, turned out it was fishers. Never seen one. Minks, practically daily.

    I have friends who hunt. Ducks, mainly. They all get eaten. The deer around here are butchered, frozen or given to the local food bank. That is acceptable, pulling of the head of a buck to taxidermy it is  not so much to me.

    Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

    by riverlover on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:34:51 AM PST

    •  Oh, forgot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom

      My across-the-road neighbor spied a black bear in her front yard this fall. I was jealous.

      Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

      by riverlover on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:36:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read somewhere that wolves keep the coyote (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      riverlover, 4Freedom

      population down. Coyotes will survive because they eat anything. Around my son's place in the exurbs, they eat black berries as evidenced in their scat. I can't imagine how they pick the berries without getting scratched.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:39:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting this Agathena (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, Agathena, 4Freedom

    As we all have acknowledged , Obama and corporate dems fold to this minority of voters ( pro wolf hunter types ) ,, and for what ? They will never vote dem and they spend all their time and money telling lies  about dems and the environment , so why cater to this sliver of the voting public in any way ?

    The dem party gives legitimacy and cover to junk science by not standing up to these people , anyone who believes and preaches that destroying nature is good for the environment should not be catered to by any national dem  , or by federal authority where dems are in charge

    While this might sound a bit naive , imlo the only way the dem party will ever get back to its ecological roots is by electing west of the Mississippi eco friendly outdoor types to higher fed office , Obama and all his corporate pals do not have a clue , or any interest in Americas public natural resources , they are more at home on wall st and the golf course , and their policies reflect it

     TIME TO ELECT SOME PRO WILD LIFE DEMS TO OFFICE !!! :)

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:09:56 AM PST

  •  anniell (0+ / 0-)

    why are you republishing this diary to the Liberal G Club, the gun club, spin off of RKBA?

    It seems strange to republish a diary that you don't recommend, tip or comment in.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:38:02 AM PST

    •  I'm not anniell but the Liberal G Club is not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kasoru

      a spin off, look at the profile and posts.

      I'd of republished to Hunting and Fishing Kos if I'd of thought of it or had time. You've posted a very hateful diary filled with many hateful comments, I think it's important for others to see this post you made. I'll link to it on social media too. It's best for this kind of thing to see the light of day, sunshine the best disinfectant.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 07:52:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I knew it was in bad faith just as all (0+ / 0-)

        Your comments are. Science you don't agree with is hate?

        To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 12:02:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  saying really bad things about a whole bunch of (0+ / 0-)

          people you don't even know is hate. I feel the hate oozing out of the post and the comments. Hate for people and a situation that you don't understand.

          The science I think I'm on a lot firmer ground than you are. Instead of just linking to the Wildlife News read it. That poster JB is one of the guys rejected from the review panel Jeremy Bruskoter, now he is a wolf advocate that should need no introduction and he is a scientist. He knows, and I know, and David Mech knows, and that guy Velusivich or whatever his name is that does the studies on Isle Royal knows, that your trophic cascades are past their due date. It's easy to tell if someone has studied the subject or just rants.

          A lot of the comments had me cracking up, "corporate ranches" in Salmon.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 06:12:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  As apex predators, wolves are essential to the (0+ / 0-)

    ecosystem, as has been amply explained. They are also extremely social pack animals, whose elaborate and well-established social structure is destroyed by the hunts.

    These beautiful, environmentally essential creatures deserve protection, not slaughter. It saddens me that wolves are so misunderstood and vulnerable. I wrote many letters and donated to show my opposition to these hunts, but the efforts of many of us haven't saved the wolves.

    That is an eco-tragedy. I will continue my opposition to wolf-killing.

    Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. ~ George Orwell

    by 4Freedom on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:39:30 AM PST

  •  circle of life (0+ / 0-)

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwSKkKrUzUk

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:39:44 AM PST

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